Sephardi Istanbul

In the past I’ve made frequent references to the Sephardi jews that in the 15th century fled the Spanish inquisition and Portuguese King’s policies and settled in Amsterdam. I like to refer to that group in history as a clever ancestral anicdote as to why I like living in the Netherlands.

But then I find myself in Istanbul surrounded by some of the finest guides and friends a boy can ever wish for, and when I bring up the sarphatic jews and my long lost possibly jewish roots back many generations, Mr. B turns to me and says — you know where else they settled? – Istanbul.� The Ottoman empire, for various reasons, decided to give them a place to settle, right here in this city. (actually one of two places in Turkey) Read more

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bm299 Radical Politics and Censorship in Turkey

The first edition of sanat vehayat was removed from the news stands by the Turkish government because it contained the word “Kurdistan”.� But the political magazine was not discouraged, later re-releasing that edition with the word Kurdistan crossed out with black marker.

During my visit to the Asia side of Istanbul I had a chance to visit the modest headquarters/social club of the radical magazine. A representative took the time to answer my questions and explain why and how they do what they do, and just what the situation is for the publishers of a magazine that is politically on the opposite side of the spectrum from a conservative government that has little concern for press freedom.

Music:

Vinicius Cantuaria -Galope

Yeah Yeah Yeah’s – Hysteric

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bm298 Imprisoned, Persecuted, and On the Air

Tucked away somewhere in the labyrinth of streets on the Asia side of Istanbul, you’d think you were walking into someone’s house until you notice that each room in this apartment is part of this modest radio station. Sitting in a sun room with windows overlooking this section of the city, sipping tea, I asked this producer from �zg�r Radyo about how this radio station is alternative.� “Alternative to the government..” she began..

This interview is the 3rd in a series of podcasts focusing on alternative media in Turkey, this time focusing on radio and the struggle to bring forward minority voices.

Music

  • The Clash – Remote Control
  • The Roots – Rising Up

Please Note – Once again I’m experimenting with translation, this time I’ve left all the original audio in the recording, this means lots of Turkish – enjoy!

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